Burial of Flight 93 wreckage finally brings closure for victims’ families

The recent announcement that the remaining wreckage from United Airlines Flight 93 — the plane that tragically crashed near Shanksville on Sept. 11, 2001 — has been buried at the crash site is welcome news that should help finally give closure to the families of those aboard the ill-fated aircraft.

Forty passengers were on that flight, which was scheduled to go from Newark, New Jersey to San Francisco, California, but instead was hijacked by al-Qaida terrorists. Passengers learned through phone calls with loved ones on the ground of the attacks on the World Trade Center’s twin towers in New York and on the Pentagon near Washington.

They then figured out that the plane they were on was likely headed toward a similar fate — later figured to have most likely been crashing into either the White House or the U.S. Capitol — and bravely decided to storm the cockpit to prevent the terrorists from reaching their target. After a struggle, the aircraft smashed into a field in Somerset County, killing everyone on board.

In the days, months and years that followed, investigators pored through every scrap of the plane they could find for the victims’ remains and the personal belongings of the passengers. The remains of everyone on board was eventually identified and as many items as could be recovered were returned to the families of the victims.

But now, finally, that work has been completed and the wreckage has been interred in that sacred ground, which is only accessible to the families of the crash victims and very few others.

In our opinion, this is absolutely the right thing to do. It’s another reason why we believe those involved with the development of the Flight 93 Memorial have done a wonderful job of balancing the public’s desire for a solemn place dedicated to this historic and tragic event with respecting the privacy of the victims’ families and the sacred ground at the actual crash site.

We hope this is another step toward total closure for the loved ones of the brave passengers of Flight 93. Nearly 17 years after the tragedy of 9/11, they’ve certainly waited long enough.